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Old 10-22-2013, 08:43 PM   #1
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Default Help me with my first gluten free brew

Edit: skip here for the recipes

A little background first. My brew experience consists of several 5 gallon extract w/steeping grains. The last two came out pretty well since I found HBT and started paying more attention to the process. My interest in GF brewing: I have a mid-level sensitivity to gluten, not bad enough to keep me away from non-GF entirely. On the other hand, I have some friends and family who are entirely GF and are interested in tasting the results. Lastly, I find the openness of the field of GF brewing exciting and am looking forward to participating at some level.

The equipment I'm working with since I moved into my new place gears me towards 1 gallon batches. My brew kettle for now is just my old non-stick pot that holds about 1.5 gallons. The ingredients I have to work with are some Briess sorghum liquid extract (3.3 lbs) and maltodextrin (8 oz), raw honey (about 8 oz), and these other two that I found grocery shopping. The first one is brown rice syrup (shown here: http://www.vine.com/p/lundberg-organ...e-syrup-801097) (one jar) and some roasted/shelled whole chestnuts (shown here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004DNDBF6) (five packs).

For a 1 gallon brew I would need only a fraction of the quantities I have here, of course. I would like to use as many of these ingredients in the recipe as possible (I also have 1.5 oz Columbus hops in the fridge, and half a pack of US-05) just to see how they work.

Any suggestions for sketching out a GF recipe with these ingredients? Otherwise it will come down to pure dice-rolling when I get around to brewing. I've made up two recipes of my own so far and ended up with interesting but off-balance flavor profiles both times, so I'm really looking for help from the ground up here.

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Old 10-23-2013, 07:18 AM   #2
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First off, Welcome!

You can look at the Recipes section for some examples of GF recipes.

What style are you looking for? What do you like?

My Basic advice would be:
- Split the Sorghum and add at least 50% late in the boil
- Add the honey late in the boil or at flameout to maintain the subtle flavours & Aromas
- The Brown Rice Syrup is usable, I think that is the same BRS that was discussed thoroughly in earlier threads in this Forum, I remember the Name Lundberg
- I haven't worked with chestnuts at all but there are more than a few threads dealing with them too. I would recommend a good rinse, fine dice then a partial mash with some enzymes.
- Have you looked at a brewing Software to help you with designing a recipe? Beersmith has a Trial package and there are some online one like Brew Toad, etc.

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Old 10-23-2013, 11:46 PM   #3
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Thanks for the helpful information. I spent some time looking through the recipes there and found several along the lines of the style/ingredients I had in mind. My thought is now to make two 2.5-gal batches, one a pale ale based mainly on the chestnuts (I'd never thought my first mash attempt would be GF) plus maltodextrin, and the other a saison based mainly on sorghum extract, with honey and oats. I'll update with recipes once I get them ready, that is once I can figure out how to use this Beersmith software.

(By the way, great link to the ginger beer recipe in your sig. I've been looking to make my first ginger beer and never found a recipe that looked very promising.)

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Old 10-24-2013, 04:20 PM   #4
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I made quite a few good GF brews with the Lundberg's brown rice syrup. If you use a recipe calculator like Brewtoad (was Hopville), I just enter it as if it's the Briess Brown Rice Syrup, which it's apparently close enough to. I get color & gravity results that match what's predicted.

Jeff

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Old 10-24-2013, 10:04 PM   #5
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The longer you boil the sorghum the more the off taste comes out if it is sealed in a container then add your sorghum at 20min to go it is sterile so it does not need to be boiled for any more than jus to dissolve it.

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Old 10-25-2013, 06:50 AM   #6
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Beersmith can be a little overwhelming at first but I think its awesome. The oats should add a little body to your Saison but you might get a Little starch haze.

The ginger beer was good, not real traditional since I didn't use a Ginger Beer Plant but it came out tasty. I ended up Splitting the Batch and adding 50g of Maltodextrin to half. I wanted to see the difference and the Maltodextrin Batch was better. More heavy on the tongue.

When I do it again I think I'll make sure to peel the ginger and cut it up a little finer. There was some bitterness/astringentcy (sp?) that I think came from the ginger root peel. I think I'll add more ginger as well, ginger burst as it were, as if it were an IPA.

We'll see what I get up to. I'm sidelined until about Feb from brewing. We're moving back to Canada in Dec and all my gear is going to be on a boat plus I have a stockpile to get through before we leave.

Good luck, post up your recipes if you Need any help.

BC

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Old 10-28-2013, 03:11 AM   #7
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Thanks for the all the additional info.

I went ahead and brewed the Gluten Free Ale kit yesterday. I wasn't able to find any threads related to brewing it, so I thought I'd post the recipe and share some results here. Not sure what I was expecting, but it's just like brewing any other extract recipe.

6.6 lbs white sorghum syrup (tasty stuff)
1 lb golden Belgian candi syrup
8 oz maltodex

1 oz Cascade (60 min)
0.5 oz Cascade (15 min)
0.5 oz Cascade (flame-out)

"Spice pack" with bitter orange peel, lemon peel, and whirlfloc (15 min)
1 pack dry Windsor ale yeast.

I had to make a run to the store during the final 15 min boil and ended up letting the boil go an extra 4 minutes, which I'm hoping won't affect the flavor or color too much. The wort came out light golden and tasting very much like beer, and it hit the 1.058 mark. Much worse, however, was that I ended up pitching the yeast at way too high a temperature, something in the mid to high 80s. I've never done that before, so I'm wondering how likely that is to create any problems. (Fermentation started within 3 hours and seems to be going at a normal rate.) I was hoping this batch would turn out well so my GF acquaintances who are deeply suspicious of beer might have a change of heart.

[Update: turned out really well. Probably the clearest and cleanest tasting beer I've made. ]

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Old 10-30-2013, 10:33 AM   #8
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The kit sounds like the Brewer's Best Ale Kit. I purchased that one because I saw it in my LHBS and wanted to make sure that I supported them when they provided GF options. I ended up really liking it and it made me realize the importance of the belgian candy syrup and the maltodextrin. Also started using corriander and dried orange peel in some of my other batches as a result.

I also fermented mine at too high a temperature, right around 80F (AC thermostat failed while I was away for the first week). It not only came out good it fermented out better than other batches with Windsor and Nottingham yeast that I fermented down at 72F. I expect it will come out fine and you will really like it!

For later batches consider also using some steeped millet and/or buckwheat crystal. Colorado Malting Company has it.

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Old 11-07-2013, 12:09 AM   #9
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I've divided the ingredients into 4 1 gallon recipes. I went ahead and brewed this today:

"GF Honey Saison" (1-gal)
8 oz GF rolled oats (steep)
8 oz sorghum syrup (30 min)
8 oz sorghum syrup (5 min)
6 oz raw honey (5 min)

.25 oz US Saaz (30 min)
.25 oz German Hallertau (5 min)

.75 oz candied ginger (5 min)
.5 oz sweet orange peel (5 min) (a little overboard on these two)

and ~1/4 tsp gypsum and Irish moss

1 full vial of WLP565 Saison

I did a 30 min boil in a very inexpensive 3 gal kettle I found at the grocery store for doing small brews. I vastly underestimated boil off, which ended up being around 40% if I reckoned it right. With Brewtoad I had an estimated OG = 1.050, IBU = 21, and color = 2*L.

The question I had was, how confident could I be that this will be completely GF? Not for myself, but for certain family members who won't consume anything prepared on non-GF counter-space(!). I'm thinking of the vial of White Labs yeast in particular.

[Update: turned out pretty well. It fermented close to radiator heat and went through all kinds of temp changes. The flavor profile is complex even for a saison. When I open the last bottle I'll update this with notes. ]

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Old 11-07-2013, 12:47 AM   #10
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glutarded-chris, definitely looking into trying out other GF grains for future brews.

Here's how I divided up the rest of my present stock of ingredients into three more 1 gallon recipes:

"Chestnut Bitter"
2 lbs roasted/shelled chestnuts (mash) (expecting low ppg here)
1 lb rolled oats (mash)
4 oz maltodextrin (boil)

.25 oz Columbus (30 min)
.75 oz Columbus (5 min)
1 oz Chinook (dry hop for 1 week after 2 weeks in primary)

1/2 pack S-04

[Update: didn't get much conversion here. Screwed up by not doing cereal mash on the oats. Hard to tell exactly what I got out of the chestnuts. Very light/crisp, too little chestnut flavor to reach any conclusions, but at least there was no sorghum extract twang. ]

"GF Wit"

8 oz rolled oats (steep)
12 oz sorghum syrup (30 min)
2 oz maltodextrin (30 min)
20 oz sorghum syrup (5 min)

.5 US Saaz (15 min)

1 tsp each sweet orange peel and coriander (5 min)

1/2 pack T-58

(Predicted ABV is 6.8% for this one.)

"GF Czech Pils"
1.5 lbs brown rice syrup (45 min)
2 oz maltodextrin (45 min)

.25 German Hallertau (45 min)
.25 US Saaz (10 min)
.5 German Hallertau (1 min)

1 vial WLP800 Pilsner Lager

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